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Schumer & Brooks pitching beach cleanup plans

Rochester, N.Y.-- Emilee Festa, 11, had a plan before arriving at Lake Ontario Beach, Tuesday morning.

"We were actually going to jump the waves because they were really high," said Festa

But, as was the case 54 percent of the time during last swimming season,  the beach was closed.

On Tuesday, County Executive Maggie Brooks joined U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announcing efforts to clean and sustain the beach.

Brooks said the county has the money it needs to handle troublesome algae that collects along the pier in Charlotte, clogging the shoreline. The county awaits state and federal permits to begin the work.

Schumer pitched two plans calling for nearly $500 million in funding.

$10 million would go toward restoration of BEACH Act funding, which Schumer said was defunded.
Monroe County had been receiving $73,000 per year, through the BEACH Act. The restoration would pay for water testing.

Schumer announced that he will co-sponsor a $475 million dollar bill known as the Great Lakes Ecological and EconomicProtection Act of 2013, (GLEEPA). If passed, GLEEPA monies would target pollution, sediment and restore beaches and wetlands across the Great Lakes region. His goal is to get Rochester area beaches off of the Environmental Protection Agency's Area of Concern List by 2016.

"We have very broad support and it's bipartisan," said Schumer. "The pollution is getting worse and worse, so I think there's a lot of coalition building that is happening."

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Washington Times